Outside Perspectives

There was a time - a couple years ago, give or take - I hated showing my writing to anyone. I was self-conscious, I was superstitious, I was overcautious. I wrote all the time and my work piled up with no one but me to read it. It was kind of sad, really; if anyone tried to peer over my shoulder, I would hurry and close the window on the computer screen. That's how shy I was.

And then there came a time when I realized that work is meant to be read. I'd finished a novel but I knew it was nowhere near ready to query. But I could only edit the manuscript myself so much. I couldn't go any further in building my skill without some outside feedback. So I got online and posted some of my work anonymously, just to see the response I got.

It was amazing. Not in that everyone loved my work, because some didn't, but I learned so much. I recieved constructive cirtisim that without which I would never have seen aspects of my voice and writing that needed improvement. Tons of comments and observations that was like looking at a painting I'd seen a thousand times before but suddenly saw differently.

The point of today's brief blog post: You need to show your work to someone. A friend you go to school with, your mom, a contact online. Outside feedback is so, so important to both your story and your writing. It really is hard to see the flaws in something you've created. Fresh eyes are both fun and necessary to making your work better. I know it's hard for some people. I know a lot of you don't have this problem, but for those of you that do, it's actually quite easy to overcome. Just put yourself out there.

Have a great week, everyone!